Director: Zack Bernbaum
MPAA Rating: NR
Film Pulse Score: 3/10
Are you tired of seeing the same story over and over again? Are you ready for an idea that’s never been done before? Then director Zack Bernbaum’s first feature, And Now A Word from Our Sponsor – the story of an advertizing CEO Adan Kundle (Bruce Greenwood) who wakes up one day to find that he can only speak in advertising slogans – is the film for you! (Disclaimer: Product may contain mediocre writing and be overridden with clichés).
It’s not easy to come up with a good advertising slogan. It’s even more difficult to come up with an entire movie based off of them. While the writers of “And Now A Word from Our Sponsor” are commendable for taking on such a challenge, the struggle shows. Most of the characters, from the angsty teen daughter (Allie MacDonald) to the villainous power-hungry advertizing exec (Callum Blue) are about as cookie-cutter as you can get (the evil guy even has a British accent!). The film scores high creativity-wise for giving the viewers a never-before-seen premise that’s both fun and critical in its portrayal of the consequences of advertising, but unfortunately, the shock-factor of the premise isn’t enough to cover up a multitude of clichés and other weak writing elements. When the most memorable lines in the film are taken directly from car commercials, that’s a bad sign.
The script may not have resulted in 100% satisfaction, but the cast deserves points for trying. Greenwood approached his difficult role with a natural and playful ease that made it easier to connect with a protagonist who can only speak and think in advertising slogans. In addition, Park Posey nailed her role as a neurotic, Tina-Fey-esque single-mom, but the script didn’t offer enough opportunities for us to see what she was truly capable of. While the main story was coherent, several subplots, including a romance between the two protagonists and a rarely referenced subplot about building a hospital, seemed tacked on purely for the sake of providing justification for the character’s actions, and tapered off at the end without any closure or acknowledgement.
When it comes down to it, And Now A Word from Our Sponsor is interesting, but for a limited time only. Impressive performances and a creative premise make it worth watching, but, like most slogans, the film’s tagline ends up being a lot more exciting than the actual product.